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IISD Reporting Services (IISD RS) has produced daily web coverage, daily reports, and a summary of this Conference. To download our report, click the HTML or PDF icons below.
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Seventh “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference
Group photo with VIPs and heads of delegation.
 
Highlights for Wednesday, 21 September 2011
 
DAILY WEB COVERAGE
 
The Seventh Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” opened Wednesday 21 September 2011, at the Independence Palace in Astana, Kazakhstan. In the opening plenary, after a laser show, Umirzak Shukeyev, First Deputy Prime Minister, Kazakhstan, welcomed delegates and highlighted the Green Bridge Partnership Programme to enhance cooperation among Asia, Europe, and the Pacific countries towards a transition to the green economy. Conference Chair Nurgali Ashim, Minister of Environmental Protection, Kazakhstan, highlighted the main themes of the Conference: sustainable management of water and water-related ecosystems; and greening the economy. Jan Kubiš, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), in his keynote address, recommended that the Conference consider developing a regional roadmap for greening the economy and a toolbox of best practices to be shared within the region and with other regions. Sylvie Lemmet, Director, United Nations Environment Programme Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (UNEP/DTIE) introduced a video message by Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP, emphasizing that the green economy offers opportunities for better use of energy resources and job creation in the pan-European region.
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Above photo: The meeting opened with a dazzling laser light show.
 

In the subsequent plenary session on the “Environment for Europe” process: 20 years of pan-European cooperation, delegates heard an address on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Environment for Europe (EfE) process which began in Dobříš, Czech Republic, in 1991. Delegates also heard presentations on the “Green Bridge” Partnership Programme, on the findings of “Europe’s Environmental Assessment of Assessments (EEoA) report, and on the Second Assessment of Transboundary Rivers, Lakes and Groundwaters in the UNECE region.

Ministers and high-level officials from Poland, Georgia, Estonia, Romania, the United States, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan and representatives from Eco-Accord, the Kazakhstan Association of Enterprises for Sustainable Development, the Subregional office for North and Central Asia of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the Bratislava Regional Centre of United Nations Development Programme, the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe made statements in support of the two main themes of the conference.

In the morning a tree planting ceremony was held at the Ethno-memorial complex. Throughout the day, the EcoTech 2011 Exhibition “Green Innovations, Technologies and Ecoservices Fair” and several side events were held.

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Umirzak Shukeyev, First Deputy Prime Minister, Kazakhstan
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Jan Kubiš, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
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Chair Nurgali Ashim, Minister of Environmental Protection, Kazakhstan
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Participants heard a video message from Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP.
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Ville Niinistö, Minister of Environment, Finland
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Olga Ponizova, European EcoForum
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Goran Svilanović, OSCE
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Lawrence J. Gumbiner, United States
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Andrzej Kraszewski, Minister of the Environment, Poland
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Photos from the Tree Planting Ceremony at the Ethno-memorial Complex:
 
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Photos from the ECO TECH 2011
 
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L-R: Jan Kubiš, Executive Secretary of the UNECE together with Chair Nurgali Ashim officially opening the ECO TECH 2011 exhibition.
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Related Links
Conference resources
*Conference website
*Conference documents
*Conference side-events, exhibition and business fair
*Host country website
*Preparatory meetings
*History of the process: from Dobris to Astana
*Reform of the “Environment for Europe” process
*Structure of the process
*UNECE homepage
*UNECE Environmental Policy Home

IISD RS resources
IISD RS coverage of the Sixth Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe,” 10-12 October 2007, Belgrade, Serbia
*UNCSD-L - A mailing list for news on sustainable development policy
*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
*SIDS Policy and Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing Global Climate Change Policy
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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